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October 2, 2001

Brian Murfin is Named Manager of Brookhaven Lab’s Educational Programs 

UPTON, NY — Brian Murfin, a former assistant professor in New York University’s Science Education Program, has been named manager of the Office of Educational Programs (OEP) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory. He succeeds the late Karl Swyler in the position.

Brookhaven Lab provides educational services for students and teachers through three core programs: the Energy Research Undergraduate Fellowships, in which undergraduate students participate in research programs directed by Brookhaven staff during the summer; the Community College Institute, which offers 10-week summer internships in biotechnology, computers and environmental science; and the Pre-Service Teacher Program, in which teachers in training are paired with Brookhaven scientist-mentors and also attend master teacher courses.

In addition, Brookhaven offers a variety of programs, ranging from apprenticeships for minority high school students to a Maglev contest in which local middle-school students build magnetically levitated model vehicles based on certain design specifications. Most of OEP’s programs are funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, with the goal of educating the nation’s future scientists and technicians.

Murfin hopes to expand the science education program to benefit the local and national community. He said, “We have unique, world-class science facilities here, as well as excellent staff. I would like to see OEP work with scientists from every area of science at the Lab to develop educational programs, resources, and services for teachers, students and the community. OEP could serve as a focal point of the science education community and as a ‘think tank’ where scientists and educators develop creative ideas for new educational programs, resources and services.”

Recently, Brookhaven’s Museum Programs joined OEP. The Museum Programs oversees visits to the Laboratory’s on-site Science Museum for over 14,000 elementary school students and teachers each year. It also offers science programs at local elementary schools, and, with OEP, it sponsors Brookhaven Lab’s annual elementary-school science fair, which attracts more than 500 students annually from Suffolk County schools.

A recent OEP success has been a five-year active role in a program known as MSTe, for “Integrating Mathematics, Science and Technology in the Elementary School.” The project, which will be completed this year, encompasses more than 1,200 teachers in New York State, including 800 on Long Island.

Murfin earned a B.S. in biology from Bowling Green State University in 1977, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in science education from Ohio State University in 1992 and 1993, respectively. From 1977 to 1981, Murfin was a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching science classes for secondary students in Swaziland and Botswana. From 1981 to 1989, he was a science teacher and head of the science department at Tutume McConnel Community College in Botswana.

Murfin then returned to the U.S. to earn his graduate degrees. His dissertation involved linking students, teachers and scientists via the Internet. In 1993, Murfin became an assistant professor at Queens College, teaching science education courses. In 1995, he joined New York University’s School of Education, where he taught science education and computer applications and supervised student teachers in New York City schools until he came to Brookhaven.

NOTE TO LOCAL EDITORS: Brian Murfin is a resident of Huntington, NY.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies. Brookhaven also builds and operates major facilities available to university, industrial and government scientists. The Laboratory is managed by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited liability company founded by Stony Brook University and Battelle, a nonprofit applied science and technology organization.